Feature: 5 Watches You Should Avoid
If you’re looking at buying your first premium watch, or even if it’s not your first rodeo, it can be a bit daunting trying to find the one that’s right for you. You may have an idea of what you want, perhaps even a brand or a type of watch, but there are still a whole load of pitfalls to trip up on when you finally take the plunge and enter the market. Never mind what you do want; here are 5 kinds of watches you should most certainly avoid.
A Watch From A Non-Reputable Source
Impatience can do funny things to the human brain, one of which being the bypassing of whichever gland it is that tells you to be sensible. In the clear light of day, you know what’s right, what’s best, but in the thick of the hunt, the bloodlust has a funny way of clouding judgement.
Say your savings jar is full and you’re ready to treat yourself to that Breitling Navitimer you’ve been promising yourself for a while. Perhaps it’s discontinued, hard to get hold of, and there are none available in any of the usual places you look. So you look a little further afield, to somewhere you’ve not really heard of before, that doesn’t have any reviews, or perhaps even to a certain popular auction site—and it’s there.
The pictures are a little blurry, there’s no phone number—but yet you can feel your credit card finger twitching. If you weren’t blinded by the whiff of a new purchase, you’d hear your sensible gland screaming red raw. That’s why this is the first watch you should avoid: the one from a non-reputable source.
Have patience, wait a while, hold out for the best example from a trustworthy source, because while the worst you can expect would be to lose all of your money completely, the best you can expect from shopping from a questionable outlet will be to always wonder whether or not the watch you bought is really everything it was supposed to be.
A Watch Just For Investment
Try as the manufacturers might to convince you, a premium watch is not a practical asset. It tells the time, sure, and that’s a useful thing, but that sits secondary to the ownership experience and enjoyment of wearing a hand-made timepiece. So it stands to reason that buying said watch is as much a purchase with the heart as it is with the head.
It’s like buying a house; you want to love it, feel at home in it, picture your future there. It’s more than just four walls and a roof. It would be a pretty miserable existence if you purchased your home based just on investment opportunity—after all, a family of four wouldn’t fit in a one-bed city apartment.
So this is the next watch you should avoid—the one that’s just an investment. Buy the watch you want, the one you’ve been looking forward to getting, the one you’d be happy to wear day in, day out, because if you don’t you’ll only end up moving it on and replacing it with something you actually want.
It’s a nice bonus that a premium watch can cost you zero, or even earn you a profit, but if you get the watch you really wanted then you’re probably not going to sell it anyway.
A Watch Without Thinking About Servicing Costs
Look around and you’ll find some incredible watches out there at a fraction of the original price, from brands that you might not have otherwise dreamed of owning. We’re talking endgame pieces, the kind that would be welcome in even the most exquisite of collections.
It’s a tempting proposition, especially when you’re talking about a watch as appealing and as rich with heritage as this Breguet. It’s a watch from the manufacturer that invented the tourbillon, and it’ll cost you less than a Rolex Submariner. Tempting, very tempting … but you’ve got to be careful.
There was a time when a Ferrari 360 Modena could be purchased for around £30,000, the price of your average family car with a few bits like air condition and parking sensors thrown in. Like the Breguet, equally tempting. But here’s the folly: the Ferrari may have cost the same as a family car to buy, but it certainly won’t cost the same as a family car to run. It’ll costs more, a lot more.
So this is the next watch you should avoid: the one you haven’t considered servicing costs for. High end watches can have service intervals as frequent as every two years, with associated costs of £500-plus depending on the complication. If you’re not careful, you could end up with a bill that costs almost as much as the watch itself.
A Watch Someone Else Tells You To Get
The internet is a marvel of the modern age, a wealth of education and knowledge greater than every library and scholar in history—but there’s a trade-off, because with all that useful knowledge comes as many opinions, if not many, many more. And opinions are fine; they form the basis of the statements and reviews from which we form our own judgments. We’ve never lived in a better time for researching something before we buy it.
But there’s a downside to that, too. Think of the restaurant or hotel or waffle iron you were thinking of buying, of reading through reams and reams of positive reviews until you reach that one guy who didn’t, for reasons he’s made perfectly clear through the use of capital letters, like it. You know it’s nonsense, you know you should ignore it, but it sticks in your mind like a splinter.
So say you’ve got your eye on an Omega Planet Ocean. You love the way it looks, really like the in-house movement, the brand’s heritage, etcetera, etcetera, and you’re confirming your thoughts by dipping your toe into the comments on one of the many popular watch forums.
And there he is, that one guy who thinks it’s rubbish, who thinks you should get a Rolex or a TAG Heuer instead. And somehow his passion is so compelling that you start to doubt all the confidence you had only moments before and feel yourself being swayed towards the Rolex or TAG Heuer that, really, you don’t want. That’s why the next watch you shouldn’t get is the one someone else tells you to get. Other people’s opinions are just that: opinions. You and only you know what will make you happy.
The Watch You Could Have Now Versus The One You Could Save For
There’s that impatience again, only this time it’s whispering something about a watch you can’t quite afford yet. You’ve been saving for a while, you’re almost there, but just not quite—things is, the little voice says, you could have a cheaper watch right now instead.
It doesn’t matter that the watch you originally wanted has been occupying every other thought you’ve had for the past year, or that it’s even started to creep into your dreams, because all of a sudden the possibility of buying a watch now has become overwhelmingly tempting.
You’ll look at everything that costs as much as you have and think that you love all of them, infatuation spreading like norovirus through every watch that crosses your path. Just think, you could get up and go out right now, and in an hour you’d have a new watch. The temptation is almost painful.
This right here is probably the hardest of all the watches to avoid, the one you could have now over the one you really want but still need to save for. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that the desire for the watch you could have now is fleeting, a short candle that will have long burned out before you even get back home. It’s a guaranteed path to regret.
Okay, so we’ve covered some of the watches that you shouldn’t get, but it still remains to be seen which watch it is that you should get. And the answer is simple: get the watch you want. No fuss, no gimmicks, no brand snobbery, nothing—the watch that you like is the one that’s going to give you what you’re hoping for. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
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